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Opinions of Friday, 15 January 2010

Columnist: Sam, Leo R.

Self-Check Report Card For Ghanaian Politicians ...

.... And Their Appointees At Home And Abroad.

When Ghanaian politicians sit on the opposition side of Parliament, they appear to know what is morally and ethically right. They are able to point out CLEARLY what the party in power is doing wrongly. However, as soon as they win power to form the government, their attitude changes DRAMATICALLY as well as DRASTICALLY. They follow the same practices, commit the same offences and indulge in similar unacceptable behaviour that they criticized when they were in opposition.

Do our politicians ever sit down to examine THEMSELVES ? Do our politicians ever spend a FEW MINUTES quietly to MEDITATE and REFLECT on the consequences of their actions ?

All Ghanaians in politics and those who intend to enter politics in the future should seriously consider the adage :

" AN UNEXAMINED LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING "

Critical self-examination by all Ghanaians ESPECIALLY OUR POLITICIANS ( Right from the top to the bottom ) is essential if Ghana in particular and Africa in general will achieve the EIGHT millennium development goals set up by the United Nations under the guidance of our own Honourable Kofi Annan :

1. ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER

2. ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION

3. PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN

4. REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY

5. IMPROVE MARTERNAL HEALTH

6. COMBAT HIV / AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES

7. ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

8. DEVELOP A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT.

Before filling this Self Check Report Card, one must take the following OATH :

"On my honour I promise to be completely truthful. No other person on this particular planet ( EARTH ) will ever see this report card and so there is no reason to lie to myself. Rationalization will have no place while filling this report card. SO HELP ME GOD"

1. How much money did I have in my Savings Account in Ghana before I entered politics ?

2. How much money do I have in my Savings Account in Ghana now that I am in politics ?

3. How much money did I have in a foreign Bank before I entered politics ?

4. How much money do I now have in a foreign Bank ?

5. What was the approximate balance in my Chequing Account before I entered Politics ?

6. What is the approximate balance in my Chequing Account now that I am a Ghanaian politician ?

7. How many houses did I own before entering politics? Include those registered in the name of friends and relatives

8. How many houses do I really own now that I am in politics. Include those registered in the name of friends and relatives.

9. How many vehicles did I own before I entered politics ?

10. List the make of the vehicles ( Ford, Opel, Mercedes Benz, BMW etc. )

11. How many vehicles do I own now as a Ghanaian Politician ?

12. List the make of the vehicles ( Hummer, Lexus, Cardillac etc )

13. As a politician do I have access to Public Vehicles ?

14. Do I use the public vehicles responsibly for official purposes ?

15. Did I use the Public Health Care System facilities in Ghana before I entered Politics ?

16. Do I still use the Public Health Care System in Ghana or just create an opportunity to enable me to travel overseas on questionable official duties to seek personal medical treatment ? Have I ever made any concrete effort to help improve the system or I just pay lip service to improving the system?

17. Do I consider the Public Educational System good enough to educate my children adequately ?

18. Do I prefer to have my children and relatives educated in private schools in Ghana or expensive schools overseas ?

19. Have I taken any concrete steps (NOT LIP SERVICE !!! ) to ensure that the basic public Educational system is good enough to handle Ghanaian children effectively and efficiently ?

20. Does my lifestyle really indicate that I am a politician in a HIGHLY INDEBPTED POOR COUNTRY ?

21. When my party was not in power, did I CRITISIZE the leader and the members forming the Government for amassing personal wealth through questionable means ?

22. Was my criticism based on JEALOUSY ?

23. Was my criticism based on the fact that the government members were selfishly helping themselves and overlooking the COMMON GOOD of all the ordinary citizens of Ghana ?

24. Now that my party is in power, do I have any reason to believe that I am being criticized out of JEALOUSY ?

25. Have I played any part directly or indirectly in awarding any contract to friends, relatives and unqualified associates, who are obviously incapable of completing the contract ? Do they have REAL Consultancies & Companies or BOGUS Consultancies & Companies ?

26. Have I ever threatened any of my critics with a legal suit even though I know perfectly well in my own mind and heart that I deserve the criticism ?

27. Have I ever physically assaulted any of my critics or directed a third party ( strongmen, action troopers, foot soldiers, disguised policemen, so called armed robbers, body guards, security guards etc. ) to beat up my critics ?

28. Do I sincerely believe in the RULE OF LAW or just use the expression whenever it is convenient ?

Phillip Slayton, a top legal scholar and also an ex-Bay Street :Lawyer has exposed the corruption in his own profession, In an exclusive interview ( Refer MACLEANS MAGAZINE - VOLUME 120 NUMBER 30, AUGUST6, 2007 -- www.macleans.ca ) he made the following statements:

(a). "If you are taught ( in Law School ) how to MANIPULATE rules, you lose respect for them and that leads to a kind of arrogance: I am BIGGER than the rule "

(b). "Every lawyer is going to go into the office today and commit fraud"

( c ) There is always a tendency to pad bills, and it is because of the pressure lawyers are under to generate revenue for their firms ?

29 . Do I agree to some extent with Phillip Slayton ?

30. Do I believe that sometimes Law Suits can be manipulated to exonerate guilty people on so-called Technical grounds ? Have I been personally exonerated by our court system, when I know I have really broken the law?

31. Do I know that in some of the best legal systems in the world, innocent victims have been found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment or even execution ?

32. Can I hold myself to a higher moral and ethical standard than the legal system prescribes ?

WHAT IS ONE EXPECTED TO DO WITH THIS SELF-CHECK REPORT CARD ?

It is suggested that once you have diligently completed filling the Self Check Report Card, you sincerely MEDITATE and REFLECT over your answers for at least one week. Then appoint a "PERSONAL TRUTH AND RECONCILLIATION COMMISSION". The only member on this commission should be your OWN CONSCIENCE.

Hopefully, your conscience will tell you the right steps to take:

1. Quit politics if you cannot work towards the COMMON GOOD of your fellow Ghanaians.

2. Give back at least 50% of the wealth you have cunningly acquired to a genuine Charitable Foundation to help Ghanaians in need. Please do not pretend to be a philanthropist. Give the amount ANONYMOUSLY.

3. Do whatever you can to help Ghana achieve all the eight Millennium Development Goals.

The rule of law can only bring a limited amount of progress to Ghana. There are so many ways to beat the laws in any country. The courts cannot in any way stop fraudulent activities which hinder development in our society.

Only SELF DISCIPLINE exercised by people in authority can bring Social Justice and true happiness to all the ordinary citizens of Ghana.

May the Good Lord bless Ghana with truly dedicated and selfless politicians.

Leo R. Sam

Email: Lsam@compusmart.ab.ca